Gearing up for Buildings in Brazil

The Real Estate Association is all set for its annual REA/Chazen spring break trip.  After exploring Asia’s leading economy in China last year (, this year’s destination is Brazil, South America’s leading economy and one of the most active real estate markets globally.  Twenty-eight students and two faculty members will be touching down in Sao Paulo over the next couple days, and the group is excited to begin the trip and gain a better understanding of Brazil’s real estate industry from a ground level perspective.

Over the span of a week, we will visit both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and will be meeting with fourteen companies representing a full of spectrum of functions (investment, development, services) and product types (commercial, retail, logistics, infrastructure) within the real estate industry.  Some of the highlights on the itinerary include meetings with Tishman Speyer and BR Malls (Brazil’s largest shopping mall owner and operator).  Another important component of the learning will be through site visits.  The group will be visiting Infinity Tower with GTIS in Sao Paulo, the Rio Olympic Park with AECOM, and is planning on extensive first hand investigation into local food and entertainment offerings (purely for research purposes, naturally).

In preparation for the trip, we have had the opportunity to hear from a couple CBS students who are either from Brazil or who have lived there previously, and received a Brazil reading packet covering economic and social articles.  Some recurring themes that have emerged are that political stability starting from the mid-1990s has created a much more favorable economic development and investment environment, but that the resulting growth has occurred unevenly.  The result is severe income disparity, opportunities for corruption, and a highly divided socioeconomic structure.  One article in the reader even mentioned a court clerk in Brasilia, the nation’s capital, who was earning more than Brazil’s Supreme Court chief justice!

I will be heading to Sao Paulo tomorrow and am looking forward to comparing what I’ve read and heard with what I see on the ground.  So long for now but I’ll be back blogging up a storm in a few days.

James Hoeland ‘13

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